The Anniversary Waltz race was set up by fell runners Wynn and Steve Cliff, to commemorate their wedding at Newlands Church in the Lake District. Now in its 21st year, this is becoming a classic medium-length fell race, taking in 12 miles and (more than) 3600ft of ascent in the Newlands Valley. The race route traces a heart in the mountains.
Starting on a narrow track and heading straight for a road, the race opens with some jostling for position and a steady grind up towards the trail head proper at the base of Robinson. The sun is out, and within the first couple of miles, vests are off and heads are beginning to singe. At this point, I was comfortably in the top 70 and steadily passing other competitors.
Climbing up towards High Snab ridge, it becomes clear just how much more challenging Lake District races are compared to those of the Peak. This climb just grows and grows. Beginning optimistically with a run-walk technique, I rapidly take to hands-on-knees climbing. As we near the ridge, the incline becomes so steep it’s practically vertical. The ultimate ascent to the summit involves some scrambling up marble-smooth rocks, and suddenly we’re up the first 2000 feet or so of ascent.
Full results can be found here